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'Reduce the interchange, improve the game'

Ashley Gordon was known as ‘The Flash’ for a reason.

It’s not just because it rhymes with ‘Ash’.

Gordon was a true livewire in his day and was known for producing something-out-of-nothing plays whenever he spotted an opportunity.

It’s a part of his game the man himself is proud of to this day.



“Instincts were something I loved, if I saw something, I wanted to do it,” Gordon told the Our Town Our Team Podcast.

“I chip kicked off the kick-off in the first couple of games and I was getting in trouble, but why? I saw an opportunity and I’d regathered, and I’d score tries.

“Mark Wright the trainer just told me if I did it again, I’d be off.”

“I wouldn’t want to coach that out of someone.”


Gordon made 71 appearances for the nib Newcastle Knights, after becoming the Club’s first official signing ahead of its inception in 1988.

In that time, he scored 38 tries and kicked 56 goals, making him a cult hero in the Club’s early days.

Unfortunately for the former outside back, he feels the game is heading away from what made him fall in love it in the first place.

“I do believe it’s different now, because you can’t play that way anymore, it’s all structure and shapes,” Gordon said.

“For me, I’d like to go to a game and see the entertainment of quality entertainers, if you’ve got an entertaining player like Matty Bowen or Jonathan Thurston, you’re running your big men at him all day and make him tired.

“As a spectator you’re less likely to enjoy the game today because all the good attacking players were run over by 120kg players.”

The Knights have been known throughout history to be home to some of the best attacking players in the game’s history, a fact not lost on Gordon.

“Obviously, we’ve got one here at Newcastle with Kalyn Ponga, what do we do with him?” he said.


“Do we say, ‘look keep doing it, play your game and we’ll base our attack off what you’re doing’, or do we say, ‘hey hold on a minute, that’s a bit too risky’.

“If Andrew and Matt (Johns) we’re told what they could and couldn’t do, they wouldn’t have had the careers they did.”

When it comes to a potential solution, Gordon is in no doubt of what needs to happen to bring smaller players back into the game.

“I’d reduce it (the interchange) again,” he said.


“You can even have freshies on the bench, but you want people to get tired and have attacking lines going at the defensive line at speed.

“It’ll be entertaining.”